Friday, 25 February 2011

Happy Birthday to everyone born today!

You share a birthday with me , my sister and my friend (and her twin!) !!
I was three when I got a special Birthday gift - my sister . She has a special birthday , but I won't say as I'd give my own age away .
I was hoping to get this done for my sisters Birthday , however I still have a full skein to knit up , so it may be a wee while before she gets it - not too long though . The yarn is so soft and warm , I think I am slowing down subconsciously , it really is a dream to work with .
I have been very fortunate in receiving some lovely gifts - took pictures of a few of them .
This is a beautiful Lace book written by Margaret Stove , a lady from New Zealand , and has some fabulous designs in it . I hope to try some soon , starting with the scarves and working my way up to a larger shawl . Most of the designs are knitted in very fine laceweight and knitted on 2mm or smaller needles - yikes!
These gorgeous fingerless mitts knitted in Rowan felted tweed , were give to me by my fellow birthday celebrant! Such a beautiful shade , the yarn is just lovely .
I am going out with my sister and parents this evening to celebrate a bit more with a nice meal . The boys have been told they will dress up and behave like gentleman - we'll see!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Tablet and yes DS1 it is Scottish

My kids are so used to getting home-made tablet they assume everywhere else in the world gets it too . This lovely sugaroverdoseinasquare is a crunchy buttery creamy not quite toffee or fudge tasting delight . Willy Wonka never made it .
Everyone has there own recipe and method of making it , so I'll add mine to the pile
Warning - this is boiling sugar so take GREAT care ! Sugar burns are VERY NASTY !
The recipe is as follows - 4.5oz or 125g of butter , 2lbs or 1kg of unrefined granulated sugar , 300ml of full fat milk , 200g or half a tin of condensed milk ( dulce du leche is also suitable ) , a little vanilla essence for flavouring .
You will need a big heavy-based pan , a wooden spoon , small bowl with a spoonful of water , and a big whisk or hand held electric one .
Melt butter in the pan over a medium heat then add sugar and milk , keep at this heat and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved - a good 5-10 minutes .
Bring the mixture to the boil then let it simmer (not fiercely or it will go too hard) for 8 minutes . It should look like this image below . Keep stirring .
After 8 minutes add the condensed milk , then bring back to simmering point for another 8 minutes , stirring again . Before taking off the boil , drop a little of the mixture into the bowl with water - WAIT (this is boiling sugar!) then use a spoon to see if it rolls into a ball - its almost toffee like .
Take the pan off the heat , add a little essence then using the whisk (or hand held electric one) beat the living daylights out the mixture until it starts to crystalise a little. Note- this can take anything between 5 and 10 minutes .
Quickly pour the mixture to a buttered rectangular tin , taking care when spooning out the remains of the mixture . Use oven gloves for handling the tin as the heat transfers very quickly .
Before it cools , mark the mixture with a knife so it can be cut out easily when hardened.
Once hardened , break into pieces and store in a container . I recommend only having one or two pieces at a time , as there is a lotta sugar in this! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Bits and pieces

I am enjoying reading the Knitspot blog by Anne Hanson just now . Her posts are always full of beautiful photographs , lovely food , fabulous yarn and knitting and the wonderful places she travels too .
Like West Kilbride!
Recently she taught at a Knitting Retreat organised by Socktopus' Alice Yu , based in Cornwall , which was attended by our own Lilith of OMA . It looked wonderful , gorgeous views and some pretty knitted socks .
Afterwards Anne and Cookie A visited the lovely Ysolda in Edinburgh , then took a trip out to Liliths' studio in West Kilbride . They had lots of fun dyeing yarn too - the pictures of the trip are just great - have a look at the blog and enjoy too .
My own OMA yarn is being knitted up into the lovely Palisander pattern from Knitty - its coming on a treat , however , the RSI in my wrist, neck and shoulder has re-appeared and slowed things down a bit .
Here is the pattern ! This yarn is so gorgeous to work with , soft and tactile, I don't want to put it down when I start.
And here is the reverse side with its lovely cables , i love the effect , and also the fact that you cannot tell there are cables from the Right Side .
I hope to get a bit more done soon , once the pain from the RSI goes . Note to self ALWAYS use wooden needles , not metal.
While I have been resting (!) I have been catching up with a bit of spinning . I bought some lovely hand-dyed Mulberry Silk fibre and spun it up with some teal corriedale I had - I like the effect of plying them together .
I now have approx 200gms of chunky yarn , mmmm , what to do ?
Proud Mummy moment now - DS2 won his Pupil Trophy for a week , he got eleven stars and was top of the class (trust me , this is a BIG Deal!)
Three Cheers ! Hurray , Hurray , Hurray !!